Something I read sixty-six years ago has stayed with me to this day and continues to influence my prayer. The words were in a letter to members of the Society of the Sacred Heart from Reverend Mother de Lescure in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the Society. I had just entered the community and was deeply impressed by the words “...the name we bear is a title to entrance, not to the threshold but to the very depths of this Divine Heart.” Then we are told that “the solitude of His Heart is a crushing reality.” The Society was founded to fill this solitude “to people this solitude with souls who would know how to heed the ardor of His heartbeats and who would not leave Him alone in the depths of His life.”
We enter His Heart when we are alone, detached, and offered. “It is a grace we ask for…conscious of our unworthiness…but certain of the call which is expressed by the name we bear. Jesus Christ, revealing His Heart, and we, unworthy beggars, entering and descending to unite and conform ourselves: such was to be the prayer of the Society. ...we do not leave this solitude when our prayer is over…the spirit of prayer should keep us in union of faith and conformity of will, fixed in this Heart which is our dwelling place day and night.”
I still find this Letter to be the foundation of my own prayer in His Heart today. It is my hope that it touches each one of you, members of the family that bears his name and enjoys that same invitation to the depths of his heart.
Relection by Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ
Photograph by Jerry Naunheim